Posted by: kathandroger | March 8, 2015

Les Restos du Coeur

In the mid 80’s Francs had problems both at home and abroad. The housing situation was very bad, and many people were struggling to exist. Calouch, a very well known comedian and would be politician, decided that his country should make more of an effort to feed and support the growing number of struggling french citizens. In Paris he organised a collections of food, mainly from wasted surplus, and it was distributed to the local needy. He also organised an afternoons’ entertainment to raise funds for the project. Calouch died in a road accident shortly after the “Restos du Coeur”-the restaurants of love-began, but the idea mushroomed and now cover the whole of France, distributing millions of meals each week. The charity is still supported by a huge concert -the “enfoires” given each year and supported by anyone who is anything in French entertainment.

We wanted to do some voluntary work after coming to France and joined the local branch here in Chatellerault. Amazingly that was nearly six years ago. Our work is only for one afternoon per week, mainly handing out food and clothing to the needy-all assessed previously-and many have become friends. The volunteers are amazing. Some work five days each week, collecting and assorting the arriving donations, and their selfless devotion ridicules our meagre efforts. The national organisation is vast now and regional chiefs  command from central offices in each French region. Sadly, however, the power dispensed to people working unpaid in high office can sometimes be overused. In our branch the two directors have been taken to task for a very minor changing of opening hours, and dismissed. This after some fifteen years of tireless effort. The personalities involved have been understandably heartbroken and the enduring bad feeling engendered has resulted in the majority of volunteers withdrawing support. So it is for Kath and myself, but we have enjoyed our six years working with locals of many nationalities, and will look for alternative charities nearby.IMG_2957IMG_2968


Responses

  1. So sad, but this is often the case. I’m sure other local charities will welcome both you and the other spurned volunteers with open arms. I hope so.

  2. How sad for everyone concerned 😦


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